Foreign Trade Zone #263

Do you manufacture, assemble or process with imports?

Do you scrap, reject, destroy, waste, or return some of your imports?

Do you export previously imported materials?

Do you regularly pay more than $485 per week in merchandise processing fees (MPFs)?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above, then you should know more about operating within Foreign Trade Zone #263. 

Foreign Trade Zone #263 covers a service area of Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and Cumberland counties and is administered by the economic development division of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. 

Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) are secured, designated locations around the United States in or near a U.S. Customs Port of Entry where foreign and domestic merchandise is generally considered to be in international commerce and outside of US Customs territory. As a result, activated businesses in an FTZ Service Area can reduce or eliminate duty on imports and take advantage of other benefits to encourage foreign commerce within the United States.

Certain types of merchandise can be imported into a Zone without going through formal Customs entry procedures or paying import duties. Customs duties and excise taxes are due only at the time of transfer from the FTZ for U.S. consumption. If the merchandise never enters the U.S. commerce, then no duties or taxes are paid on those items.

The benefits associated with zone use will vary depending upon the type of operation involved and authority granted by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board and Customs. Zones may provide some or all the following benefits:

  • Duty Exemption
  • Duty Deferral
  • Duty Reduction or Inverted Tariff
  • Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) Reduction
  • Streamlined Logistics
  • Quota Avoidance

Chamber staff is available at any time to discuss in more detail potential FTZ benefits for your business. To learn more, contact Scott Benson, Economic Development Director at (207) 783-2249, or email